Our sense of smell is one of our most powerful senses, and some scents are more positively associated in our minds than others. So what do we do when we want to make our homes and workplaces smell nice or mask unpleasant odours?  In many cases, we automatically reach for an aerosol or plug-in air freshener to release a quick burst of something more fragrant into the air.

But… did you realise that many commercial or synthetic air fresheners contain unlisted phthalates (pronounced thal-ates)?  And when phthalates are released into the air they can be inhaled or land on the skin and be absorbed into our bloodstreams?  And far from just being a nice aroma, phthalates are hazardous chemicals that have been linked to hormonal abnormalities, birth defects, reproductive problems, allergies and asthma?  That’s according to independent research carried out by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which independently tested 14 well-known commercial air fresheners.

I find now that if I go into a room that has a synthetic air freshener, I often start to feel nauseous and get a headache. I know that whatever I’m breathing in isn’t good for my body.

What’s the alternative?

So what do you do if you don’t want to release all these harmful toxins into the air but you still want your home or workplace to smell good?

Luckily, there is a completely natural way to do this and support both your health and well-being at the same time: I’m talking about aromatherapy, or essential oils diffusion.

Diffusers vs. commercial air fresheners – why should you make the switch?

Essential oils are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants and can be both beautifully and powerfully fragrant. The oils give plants their distinctive smells, protect plants, and play a role in plant pollination. And they’ve long been used for food preparation, beauty treatment, and health-care practices.

Some essential oils induce uplifting or invigorating effects, while others are more calming.  Because essential oils are quickly absorbed by the smell receptors, which have a direct link to the brain by way of the olfactory nerve, they can support a variety of functions including smell, emotions, behaviour, and memory.

How do I diffuse essential oils?

Diffusion is one of the simplest methods for using essential oils aromatically. The best way to diffuse is either nebulising (cold air) or ultrasonic (water) diffusion as heating oils to diffuse them can alter their delicate chemistry. doTERRA offers both ultrasonic diffusers, meaning that they use water to disperse the oil into the air, and nebulising diffusers, which attach directly to the essential oil bottle.

To diffuse in an ultrasonic diffuser, put cool tap water to the fill line and add at least two drops or more to the water. Then, choose the time setting you desire and let it run. Diffusing in a nebulising diffuser is waterless: take the cap and orifice off your bottle of essential oil and attach it to the diffuser and choose your settings for time and amount at a time.

Diffusers vs. commercial air fresheners – why should you make the switch?

When you want to enjoy the scent of essential oils, improve your mood, or purify the air, an essential oil diffuser
is a simple way to experience these benefits. Depending on the size, model, and features of your diffuser, it
can be used in a myriad of ways to disperse the aroma of essential oils throughout any room in your home or workplace.

Benefits of diffusers

Diffusers are designed to distribute microscopic droplets of essential oil into the air to naturally clean and freshen the air instead of harmful chemicals that do nothing for our health.

Essential oils have a natural ability to protect against environmental threats, remove odours, and support our bodies.  One of my favourites to support our immune systems and clear the air is dōTERRA’s OnGuard blend (a mix of Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary).

Other oils are known mood enhancers and can promote calm or reduce stressful feelings.  These include:

  • Lavender for calming and grounding, and can help with sleep
  • Peppermint to invigorate and improve focus
  • Lemon or Wild Orange to refresh, uplift, and energise
  • Frankincense for peace and overall wellness
  • For focus, concentration, and motivation when I’m working I love to use Frankincense, Lemongrass, Wild Orange and Rosemary.
  • For sleep, my favourite are Cedarwood, Vetiver and dōTERRA’s Serenity or Lavender Peace Blend
  • There are also some oils that can help with romance such as Rose, Ylang Ylang, and Sandalwood!

We now have diffusers in EVERY room in the house!

As you start to replace your commercial air fresheners with essential oils and diffusers, you can experiment to find out how each oil works best for you.  In the meantime, if you want to try some DIY, here’s a fun way to make your own air freshener with only two ingredients — baking soda and essential oils!

Diffusers vs. commercial air fresheners – why should you make the switch?

 Ingredients
¼ cup baking soda
5–6 drops favourite essential oil

Instructions

  1. Put ¼ cup baking soda into a small jar. Add five or six drops of your favourite doTERRA essential oil or blend.
  2. Put a piece of fabric on the jar and seal it with an elastic band.
  3. To keep an area smelling fresh, place the jar on a solid surface and shake often to activate the fresh scent.
  4. When the scent starts to fade, simply add two or three more drops of essential oil to the jar.

Or you could try this easy DIY reed diffuser too:

Diffusers vs. commercial air fresheners – why should you make the switch?

Ingredients
¼ cup Fractionated Coconut Oil
15 drops favourite essential oils
Reed diffuser sticks

Note: You can purchase reed diffuser sticks at most craft and candle stores.

Instructions

  1. Put Fractionated Coconut Oil and essential oils into a glass container or small vase.
  2. Add reed diffuser sticks.
  3. It may take up to a day for the essential oil blend to make its way up the reeds for you to smell.

Tip: Flip each reed every two to three days for a stronger aroma.

A note of caution as regards pets

Pets are highly sensitive to aroma, especially cats. If you have pets then you might want to avoid diffusing oils such as tea tree and eucalyptus oils, which they can be particularly sensitive to. Try and observe which aromas they prefer. If they dislike a certain smell they will most likely leave the room or start sneezing.  You can find more information on using oils on pets here.

Final thoughts

I hope I’ve given you some good reasons for not using commercial air fresheners or plug-ins at home or work, and instead given you a really healthy, natural, vegetarian, organic, and cruelty-free alternative.  One last thought to leave you with: with essential oils you are in charge of what you diffuse, depending on the effect you want to achieve or health benefit you’d like to enjoy.  So why not try it? Have fun, and please do let me know what your favourite blends are – there are so many combinations, I’m sure you’ll come up with ones I haven’t thought of yet!

For more information on the benefits of diffusing, you can download this eBook for free.

Getting your own oils

To purchase doTERRA essential oils at full retail cost or with a 25% discount click here: www.mydoterra.com/tanyamaidment; and for step by step instructions on ordering with a 25% discount click here: Getting started with doTERRA.
Contact me at tanya@greenlifeorganics.co.uk for a free 20 minute wellness consult or click here for free samples: Free samples